Report of the Partnership Director
Helen Riley, Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) and Tilly Flanagan, Head of Child Health and Wellbeing attended the Committee to present the report and give a short presentation.
Across Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent, the Children’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) provided an understanding of the needs of children and young people. As a result of the JSNA, the STP had recognised that improving outcomes for Children and Young People was a priority. Following consultation, it was identified that the following areas were priority themes:
· Maternal and infant health
· Childhood obesity
· Emotional wellbeing
· Children and disabilities
· Hospital activity
· Children’s social services
The Committee was informed that the childrens work stream had only recently been added to the STP programme and so they were at the beginning of the review process and issues were still emerging as work progressed. However, initial discussion had identified the following themes: Transition from child to adult services: Designing pathways for people not services; Treat cause not symptoms; Mental Health; Access to information; The voice of the child; Early years with a focus on parenting.
A Member asked if children who were carers were included in the review. In response, officers confirmed that these children should be known and should have Children in Need plans, but this was an important area and it was agreed that this would be included in the review.
A Member asked if all the previous work and research that had been carried out had fed into the review as it would be a waste to not take it into account and loose previous knowledge. It was confirmed that this had been included but things had moved on and all partners need to concentrate on the same areas with the approach being early help which reduces the need for more support later.
A Member asked if the results of the trail blazer bid had been received yet. The SRO responded that we were still awaiting more information but if it was successful it could mean an additional £3m to £4m for the service area although it was prescriptive and could only be used for specific roles.
A question was asked on information sharing and if all partners were sharing and passing on information. In response, the Committee was informed that this was an area which needed to be progressed.
A Member asked about the cost of out of county placements, if there should be mental health first aiders in schools and if this support was available through transition from primary to secondary school. In response, the cost could range from £3,000 to £4,000 per week for out of county placements and special school in reach support was part of the place based approach. The Committee was also informed that there had been a large increase in the number of children with moderate special needs accessing special schools which was one of the highest in the Country. Officers felt that this was as a result of mainstream schools not being able to support special needs. Work was underway to work with special schools to see if they could go into mainstream schools and offer specialist support which would then release specialist place in special schools.
A Member was concerned that this was the last workstream to join the STP and yet was a priority. There was concern that the plans would not be developed enough or would be ones based on historical information or that partners would not be signed up to delivering them. There was also concern that schools all provide their own Personal, Social, Health and Education (PSHE) programmes which the STP didn’t feed into. In response, the SRO confirmed that there was concern that it had taken two years to recognise the Children and Young People workstream. However, the STP programme was new but this hadn’t stopped work taking place across existing partnerships in the county and the city and this now needed to be pulled together and linked to the other workstreams. With regard to the schools PSHE, the Council had no statutory power to tell a school what support they had to offer or how to deliver their programme. A programme was being developed which would provide information on best practice and recommendations for schools. This approach was based on consultation undertaken with schools. This consultation confirmed that schools recognised that PSHE was their responsibility.
The JSNA ward and Division profiles could be forwarded to all members for information. This information was updated regularly.
A Member suggested that the workstream had be linked to other STP streams such as prevention and work had to take place with parents pre birth in order to achieve the best outcomes.
a) The Committee made the following recommendations to the STP:
· Young Carers to be considered in the review
· Early help and prevention are key in most areas but particularly in self harm and mental health
· Information on the trail blazer bid was requested (if successful this could generate between £3m or £4m)
· Information needs to be shared between the partners.
· Ward and District profiles should be sent to all Councillors for information.
· Partners developing a local PSHE programme which will be informed by schools
· The County wide STP consultation was due to start soon. It was felt that as the Children’s workstream had been late in joining the programme, it may be beneficial to have a separate consultation just on Children’s services, thus giving the service more time to develop proposals and get the service right.
b) That a progress report detailing the priority areas come back to this Committee in April 2019.